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α-Fetoprotein, human placental lactogen, and pregnancy-specific β1-glycoprotein in pregnant women who drink: Relation to fetal alcohol syndrome

  • E. Halmesmäki
    Correspondence
    Reprint requests: Erja Halmesmäki, M.D., First Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University Central Hospital, Haartmaninkatu 2, 00 290 Helsinki, Finland.
    Affiliations
    First Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

    The Childrens' Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

    The Childrens' Castle Hospital Helsinki, Finland.
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  • I. Autti
    Affiliations
    First Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

    The Childrens' Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

    The Childrens' Castle Hospital Helsinki, Finland.
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  • M.-L. Granström
    Affiliations
    First Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

    The Childrens' Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

    The Childrens' Castle Hospital Helsinki, Finland.
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  • M. Heikinheimo
    Affiliations
    First Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

    The Childrens' Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

    The Childrens' Castle Hospital Helsinki, Finland.
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  • K.O. Raivio
    Affiliations
    First Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

    The Childrens' Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

    The Childrens' Castle Hospital Helsinki, Finland.
    Search for articles by this author
  • O. Ylikorkala
    Affiliations
    First Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

    The Childrens' Hospital, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

    The Childrens' Castle Hospital Helsinki, Finland.
    Search for articles by this author
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      Abstract

      To determine the usefulness of the assays of maternal serum α-fetoprotein, human placental lactogen, and pregnancy-specific β1-glycoprotein in prenatal diagnosis of fetal alcohol syndrome, these proteins were followed in 35 problem drinkers (>100 gm of ethanol weekly) and in 14 abstinent women throughout gestation. Thirteen women gave birth to infants with fetal alcohol syndrome, and these women had low levels of α-fetoprotein and pregnancy-specific β1-glycoprotein but levels of human placental lactogen were normal. Low α-fetoprotein correctly predicted fetal alcohol syndrome in 59% with a relative risk of 2.46. Low pregnancy-specific β1-glycoprotein predicted fetal alcohol syndrome in 56%, and a relative risk was 3.29. Low α-fetoprotein and pregnancy-specific β1-glycoprotein may reflect primary or secondary effects of ethanol abuse in pregnancy and appear to be useful in predicting fetal alcohol syndrome.

      Keywords

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